Friday, October 7, 2011

I’m On The NomCom! What’s a NomCom?

This is a blog I’ve been wanting to write for a while, I’ve been a little backed up and with the 2011 PASS Summit starting next week, now seemed like the perfect time.
  Back in August PASS, the Professional Association of SQL Server, announced that they were seeking applications for the NomCom.  I like to participate in things so I started reading up on it.

I wasn’t as active at this time last year with PASS, I was on the ramp up to becoming more active, but I was still a couple weeks away from attending my first SQL Saturday.   So if you are not familiar with it there was a bit of controversy last year with the PASS elections and the NomCom.   I’m not going to go into it, but I researched it before I submitted my application and it is pretty easy for you to find on the IntraWebs if you are interested.

My participation on the NomCom is a direct result from last year.   In order to put more transparency into the process that is the NomCom, it was decided that PASS membership should have the majority of the seats.  So I’m a community representative as well as Roy Ernest (@RumblingDBA | Blog ) and ½ of my Future Law Firm of Bigun’s and Balls Newly Minted SQL MVP Jack Corbett(@unclebiguns | Blog).

After reading over what the commitment would entail and speaking with my family to make sure they were okay with it I put in an application.  

“So Balls”, you say, “What in the name of SQL Server does a NomCom Do?”

Great question Dear Reader.


PASS has announced that there will be a Board of Elections meeting this year, to learn more visit the PASS 2011 Election Website.  As part of the process people will fill out an application and submit to be considered for the election.  There are some pre-qualifications that they have to meet, you have to be working with SQL Server (Sorry Larry Ellison).... you get the idea.
After all the applications that do not meet the pre-qualifications are taken out of the mix, the applications are then handed over to the NomCom.  We review them weigh  (fancy word for score) each based on a set of criteria that we received from the current Board of Directors.   We will interview the references  and eventually we will interview the applicants and weigh those interviews as well.

We will use these scores to form a rank, and then we will pass these candidates along to the Board, passing along the top number that the Board Requests to be considered as the slate for elections.   The board will review everything we have given to them.  If they are not satisfied with the slate of candidates we put forward.  They will push it back to us and give us new instructions.

So to make a long answer short, What does a NomCom do?  We are nothing more than a Nominating Committee, that ranks the applicants as best we can and hands that over to the current Board of Directors.   We will be doing a lot of heavy lifting.

Just a quick clarification about the criteria used to rank candidates.  We have been meeting for weeks reviewing what the Board has given us and asking for clarification where needed, and disagreeing with criteria where needed.   It has been a very civil and easy process.  Everybody wants the community to vote and decide who is best to serve on the PASS Board, and we are doing our absolute best to make sure that who the community wants they will get.

So basically, I have no power, and if people are unhappy with the results I will probably get a lot of people talking to me through the IntraWebs USING CAPS!!!!


Well I do enjoy a good roller coaster.  And to be quite honest it felt like the right thing to do.  I’m not running for the Board of Directors.  Personally I don’t feel like I have the experience yet to where that would be a good fit for PASS or for me.  The election process though is a very important one, and it is one I believe deeply in for better or for worse.

America doesn’t ask much of you, but it does ask that you vote.  (okay it wants those pesky taxes too, but nobody likes them.)   You have a chance to shape the world around you every four years.  And for PASS you get that option a little more often.   I’ve gotten to meet a lot of the Board of Directors.   I like them, they are nice people, and they are very knowledgeable in SQL Server which gives us a common bond immediately.

But when I look at the SQL World around us I want to get more involved and help change things for the better.  We've done a lot of good work, but there is always more that needs some doing.

I’m not a deep insider.  I still grin like a kid with a backstage pass when I look around at the places and people that I’m going to work with.   Getting to hang out with guys like Jack and Roy still makes me grin ear to ear.  As if that isn’t enough rounding out the NomCom is Thomas Larock(@SQLRockstar | Blog) and the Immediate Past President of PASS Wayne Snyder (@SQLWayne ).

I’ll be writing more as the process moves along.  I’ve seen several people on Twitter announcing their intention to run for the board and I’m looking forward to this. 



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